I recently read this article by Dr. John Sullivan over at TLNT discussing the strategic advantage of using the “evergreen job approach” for certain key jobs in an organization.
So what, exactly is an evergreen job?
An Evergreen Job Program continually sources top talent in a mission-critical job. But rather than stopping when you create a pipeline of reserve talent, it continuously “over hires” each of the “more-than-qualified” applicants, in order to create a talent surplus in this critical job.
So you are basically seeking out and hiring candidates for the one or two most important jobs whether you have a position open or not. Dr. Sullivan lists 10 benefits explaining why the approach is impactful but I won’t re-list them here – you can read them in his article.
I do want to list his business case, however.
The evergreen job approach has the highest impact when companies are in growth mode and the market for top talent is tight. If your organization is in this situation, you will need to make the business case to executives about the power and the impact of the evergreen job approach.
The most effective business case quantifies the negative dollar impact on revenue that having a shortage of talent in mission-critical jobs has. But it also demonstrates the positive value of the new opportunities that are created when you have a surplus of talent in any high-impact job.
Incidentally, my research indicates that the cost of almost continuous position vacancies in a critical job is at least two times greater than the possible negative costs resulting from having “too much talent.” The final element of the business case should involve calculating and quantifying the increased “quality of hire” (the improvement in on-the-job performance) that results from hires under the evergreen program.
I really like the idea of identifying a couple key jobs and applying the evergreen approach. It makes a lot of sense when you consider the fact that you will always have somebody available to fill that key job rather than the job being open for a period of time while you are recruiting for a replacement. You have to weigh the costs and with Dr. Sullivan’s research suggesting vacancies in the critical job is at least two times greater than the costs from having extra employees, it seems to be a no brainer!